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retreat was conducted with skill; they
lost hardly any artillery ; their huge con- `
centration permitted them to cover the
falling back with a dense screen of troops.
But the falling back was in full swing
before the end of the month and the
Trentino offensive had failed, as every
single strategic plan emanating from the
Prussian Higher Command in this war
has failed. In a word, the Prussian mind
is meehanical, and therefore fails.
The consequences of this particular
failure were more immediate and dramatic
than any other with the exception of the
Marne. The Austrian coneentration upon
the Trentino had left the southern half
of the Eastern or Russian front, that is
the half between the Marshes of Pinsk
and the Roumanian frontier, limited to
the strict minimum necessary and believed
suffieient to a defence. The rule of thumb
of two men to the yard run had been
observed, and upon a line which in all
its sinucsities must have counted con-
siderably over 300,000 yards from 600,000
to 700,000 men, mainly Austro-Hungarian
but in part German, were stretched in
a cordon.